So you’re furious at the weather person….


Hello there, Friend. 


Visualize and pretend with me. 

Welcome to my little tranquil room. In the corner I have Yanni playing.

There’s a nice little indoor waterfall over there. 

Take a seat here with me on my nice plush imaginary couch. 

That’s nice. 

I hope you like the scent of my incense because I know you’re incensed….get it?

Haha. Sorry. 

You’re here because you’re angry at a weather person. 

Maybe their forecast was a bit off and it ruined your day.

Life is over. It’s done.

This day that was supposed to be snowy and stormy (but instead is kinda nice) will no doubt cascade into a series of catastrophes that will impact your descendants and your legacy.


It’s not that bad. But I know why you’re here.

Maybe you picked up your iPhone and you popped a vein on your head as you furiously typed out insults to the people who are trying their best to predict the future. 

I feel you. 

We have accurate bank transactions, useless Amazon orders delivered in hours, and hand-held devices that give us dog farting videos in seconds when we want it, whenever we want.

Why can’t that damn massive storm system that is spanning half the continent do exactly what I was told it would do? Like….right now?

I’m not a weather expert, but I am familiar with anger and entitlement.

You see, I used to be like you. 

When I was about five years old, when I didn’t get a cookie, I lost it. Thank god Twitter didn’t exist back then, otherwise the Nabisco account would have been crumbled.

When things don’t go our way in this instant-drive-thru, pin-drop-food-delivery world, that indifferent bitch of Mother Nature just does what she wants.  

She just can’t be controlled. She just doesn’t care.

And the weather person we expect to reign her in with all of those fancy maps, models and all that bar graph stuff just can’t do it for us anymore. So it’s gotta be their fault.

I know you’re probably still seething if you’ve made it this far. And that’s okay, Friend. 

But before you storm out of here as I talk about the unpredictability of the weather, let me just help you find some perspective before you lash out at weather people who are definitely not trying to jack you over.

Humanity has been on this planet for tens of thousands of years and we’ve barely, JUST BARELY, started our attempts at broadcasting forecasts in the 1950s.

The first weatherman for the BBC lived until 2009.

Your ancestors, who likely traveled across unknown lands and dangerous seas to get here so they could make a family tree with you in it had no idea what the weather was going to do from one hour to the next.

Boy, I’d bet they’d be angry to learn their great-great-great-great grandson is now uncomfortable with what he was told on this magic box with moving pictures. All that travel for nuthin’

Mother Nature has been around these parts for much longer we have…give or take a few billion years in this 13-billion old universe.

We’ve got a lot to learn still, but most of us know she is still vastly unpredictable given our very short time trying to see what she’s gonna do.

So before you get angry, and berate the weather guy or woman for not getting it exact… like mother nature.

Just keep moving and don’t let the electronics control you.

After all, anger in this age is so predictable.

On getting duped

Years ago, about age 22, I was walking down the street in New York City on a visit when I came across a small crowd of people huddled around a small table. They were yelling with excitement and glee as a dealer in the center of the crowd shuffled cards and handled cash. 

Me, being curious and oblivious to how dumb I was, I let my gulliblity take over. A very friendly person from the mob invited me to check out the scene. 

The whole crowd cheered me on as I was convinced to bet $60 on a card game. All I had to do was pick the right card out of three, and I’d double my money. Easy. No problem. 

I threw down the cash and the dealer began moving the cards. I kept my eye on the “money card” I was sure would never escape my sight. 

Someone distracted me just before I was about to pick the money card. I can’t recall what the distraction was. I think they told me I dropped my keys. When I looked away from the table, the dealer, of course, switched the card. 

I just got suckered by the old three card monte scam


My money was gone in about 45 seconds and the mob of shills took off like flies.  

I stood there young and stupid. 

After losing the money, another passerby who knew what happened walked by me and said “You must not be from around here. You just got scammed by all of them, Son. You got duped.”

This moment for me, while brief, was a defining moment in my life. 

It was extremely hard for me to accept the fact I got fooled by a mob. They were happy, friendly people. They invited me in. They made me feel at ease and welcome. 

I remember for many many weeks after this incident I felt a deep sense of shame and anger with myself. 

I could NOT accept the fact I got fooled. I thought my intellect was stronger than any scammer and I never believed I’d get bamboozled. 

I was in denial despite the fact I knew I lost $60.

In the days following, I would try to convince myself it was just a regular card game. Of course when I played the scenario over and over in my head, I knew deep down I got played. 

Since that day, I became extremely skeptical of my environment. About six years later I’d begin my career as an investigative reporter. 

Over my career, I’ve had people try to dupe me, bullshit me out of a story and lie. These people often come smiling and seem innocent. 

Some of the best liars can make you feel sorry for them. They can make you believe they are victims. They can make you feel the whole system is against them and you are their savior if you just believe their lie and join their side.

The feelings of denial and anger I felt when I was 22 remind me of the people I saw breach our nation’s Capitol building. 

For many many weeks they were told the election was rigged. They were invited to the table by outspoken leaders who convinced them numerous courts, judges, journalists, election officials (many Republican) and other politicians conspired together to change the outcome of the most watched election in American history. 

The insurrectionists became part of a community of like-minded people who believed THEY KNEW the real truth. 

In the end, the card they were sold was switched.

The election wasn’t rigged, but the narrative about it was.

I don’t know how to convince people they’ve been duped. They’re locked in, forever in matrimony with the big lie. And maybe that awful marriage with the big lie makes them feel comfort.

It’s easier to keep believing a lie, because when you admit the truth, you sometimes have to admit a personal weakness of intellect. 

Nobody wants to admit they got duped. 

What we desperately want to be true is often more easily accepted by us. It’s human nature. It’s comforting to keep lying to ourselves, especially when a mob of people tell us we are part of the truth.

The real truth is often a wild card nobody can manipulate or hide. It always comes into play sooner or later.

On getting scolded and lectured for celebrating my Hispanic heritage

A few years ago I put together a National Hispanic Heritage Month story for 9NEWS that featured my grandmother. 

It focused on how Nuevomexcianos are a wonderful mix of Native and Spanish cultures and how we, as a people, have lived in this region under different governments for generations. Our bloodlines extend back to Native and Spanish peoples and I made that abundantly clear in the piece:

Here’s a quote from a historian from the video: 

We all have Native American roots. How could we not, after 400 years? So much of what we eat, the music, all aspects of culture are kind of a kaleidoscope of different cultures mixed together.

Today the video has more than a million views and overwhelmingly has positive responses, especially from people who have a hard time explaining their complex heritage. 

Thanks to the Facebook memory feature, this video gets shared exponentially again this time of year. 

The White Savior Comments

Yet, there’s a somewhat annoying and sometimes aggravating phenomenon that occurs every time this video is shared. 

I’ll receive angry inbox messages and comments from people who are upset that I didn’t refer to the Spanish as “invaders” or “conquerors” in my celebratory piece about—and let me scream this out here via my keyboard–HISPANIC HERITAGE. 

Here are just a few examples I’ve received over the last three years: 

These people are mostly anglo and don’t live in New Mexico. Of course the term virtue signaling comes to mind too. 

The first year my video went viral, I had to address one of the above blatantly false comments (Amanda Flory) since it generated more angry comments.

To these people, I ask: 

Why aren’t you angry when we DON’T reference Nazism when we talk about Oktoberfest celebrations on the news?

When I posted about Independence Day this past year, why didn’t you get mad at me for not referencing the Founding Fathers as being slave owners when I posted a photo of my American flag? 

When I posted photos about Thanksgiving Dinner, why didn’t you get angry when I failed to go on a tangent over my dinner plate and declare the pilgrims as “invaders” or “conquerors?” 

I engaged with some of these people over private messages and in comment threads. They’re all entrenched in their behavior and said I should be accurate when I reference the Spanish. 

Perhaps in their minds National Hispanic Heritage Month should be replaced with….. Spanish Conquistador Cruelty Acknowledgement Month?

What do these people have against Hispanics in New Mexico? 

There’s no doubt the Spanish who came to New Mexico were cruel to natives. This is widely known. Do we really have to reference this to appease the woker-than-thou crowd when we celebrate our Hispanic culture?

My bloodline has people who were conquered and who were conquerors.

I’m fully aware of history and have explored the likely Genízaro roots of my mother’s maternal side.

All of us, no matter your ethnicity or background, have ancestors who were assholes. 

Let’s honor our ancestors who were the good people who just wanted to farm, raise families, and live in peace. 

Don’t be a virtuous asshole.

Afterall, maybe your descendants may see your Facebook comments some day.

On Po’pay – the necessary revolt against the Spanish in 1680

157 years before the invention of the telegraph, a Pueblo man known as Po’pay managed to unite distant Pueblo villages and spark a revolt against the Spanish in New Mexico on a single day in August of 1680.

Po’pay is one of the most intriguing figures from New Mexico history and is credited for preserving many aspects of Pueblo cultures and religions today. If the revolt never happened, the Spanish would likely have been successful in eradicating all sacred elements of Pueblo belief systems, including Pueblo languages.

The story, as historians believe, tells us Po’pay used knotted cords, each with five knots. He then sent runners to distant Pueblos with instructions to untie one knot per day. On the final day, the Pueblos united and revolted against the Spanish, kicking them out of present day New Mexico.

The revolt was a righteous uprising after years of enslavement, oppression, abuse of native peoples by the Spanish who arrogantly believed they were the superior race with God on their side. During those violent days in August of 1680, churches were burned and Catholic images and statutes were desecrated.

The Spaniards fled to modern day El Paso and didn’t return for another 12 years. And while many people like to claim their return to New Mexico was peaceful, there were still attempted uprisings and many violent clashes between the Spaniards and Pueblo peoples.

This past week I drove back to Colorado after a visit to New Mexico and thought much on the road about life and conflict between Pueblo peoples and the Spaniards hundreds of years ago. I wonder what people back then would think of their descendants today.

Here are some links about Po’pay if you’re interested in reading more:

The Po’pay statute at the Capitol  

The Pueblo Revolt (Wikipedia) 

New Mexico Office of the State Historian on the 1680 Revolt


The officer who detained a journalist once helped me out

Making a mistake that turns very public is often a daunting experience. Online armies of people will often sum up a person’s character and eclipse an entire career with an incident that may only last seconds or minutes.

I’ve been there before in my career.

With the permanency of the internet, I still receive hateful messages and notes from members of the public who come across things I’ve done that I wish I could go back and change. This is the harsh territory of working within a public arena and I accept it.

I’d imagine Denver Police Officer James Brooks is experiencing these feelings of frustration as the very public detainment of Colorado Independent journalist Susan Greene plays out on YouTube.

Let me be clear — I wholeheartedly disagree with the detainment of Greene and do believe Officer Brooks and his fellow officer made a serious mistake. The “act like a lady” statements are aggravating to hear.

I’ve had my own run in with law enforcement officers who tried to keep me from a public area and I understand how aggravating it can be to be told you can’t shoot video when the law clearly permits the exercise of the First Amendment. 

When I first heard Officer James Brooks was connected to the detainment of Greene, I racked my brain on why I heard his name before.

It turns out Brooks helped me out a few years ago when someone gained access to my car in my apartment complex garage and stole some items.

I came across a three-year-old Facebook post in which I praised Officer Brooks. I also sent a letter (see below) to the Denver Police Department back then, which I believe, was put in his file. 

I feel compelled to share this because I know there’s more to a person’s character and career beyond a public mistake. Hopefully this incident can be used for training. 

Commander Antonio Lopez:

I’d like to commend Officer James Brooks who did a wonderful job of recovering sentimental items that were stolen from my vehicle this past weekend and apprehending the suspect.

Sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning the suspect gained access to my vehicle in my parking garage, stole my press credentials, a watch that belonged to my late grandfather, cuff links given to me by my mother and vehicle paperwork.

Officer Brooks immediately took my case and seemed genuinely concerned about my loss.

Officer Brooks contacted a witness in the case who provided credible suspect information.

Somehow Officer Brooks was able to acquire a photograph of the suspect and shared that photo among downtown security officers and other groups like the Denver Business Improvement District.

Amazingly, within 8 hours of filing my report, Officer Brooks returned my items back to me along with news he arrested the suspect who was in possession of burglary tools.

Without the fine and immediate efforts of Officer Brooks, I would have never received my items back and this suspect would likely be out on the streets committing more property crime.

I understand the suspect has a criminal history and is currently on parole.

As someone who often covers crime and courts, I am well aware such burglary cases have an extremely low chance of an arrest.
I can’t express my gratitude enough for Officer Brooks.

He is truly reflective of what an officer should be and makes your department shine.

You’ve got a great officer on your team and I’m happy to spread the word about the good work he does for your department and this community.

Thank you!

Jeremy Jojola

We are the enemies….

…. of corrupt officials.

…. of fake news.

…. of bad journalism.

…. of public records deniers.

…. of bad cops.

…. of bad judges.

…. of shady government contracts.

…. of those who exploit the poor for profit.

…. of scam artists who target your grandma.

…. of unjust and outdated laws.

…. of bad businesses.

…. of bogus charities.

…. of those who are inhumane to animals.

…. of the potholes on your street.

…. of broken city services.

…. of lead tainted water.

…. of dangerous buildings.

…. of crumbling bridges and roads.

…. of lazy officials.

…..of no care for veterans.

…..of debilitating health care costs.

…..of no help for people with mental illness.

…..of broken promises.

…. of racists.

…. of bigots.

…. of ignorance.

…. of lies.

…. of the people?!


We are family members.

We are friends.

We are stressed out moms and dads.

We are stuck in traffic with you.

We pray next to you.

We cry in movies.

We laugh at ourselves.

We are patriotic.

We love our country.



The MAGA hat panhandler

I had to stop and learn about this man.

And yes, it was the Make America Great Again hat that caught my eye.

You don’t see many people in blue-dominated Denver wearing them and to see a man panhandling while wearing the iconic hat piqued my interest since I love little anecdotes, moments of irony and unusual stories.

Casey panhandles with a Make America Great Again hat at the corner of Logan and Speer in Denver. He says he gets “awkward” looks from drivers.

For about 10 minutes I spoke with this man just outside my news station as he panhandled with his dog, Jameson. He had a sign that said, “Sharing is Caring Anything Helps Thank You.”

He says his name is Casey and claims to have worn the hat since President Trump’s first day in office. Early in our conversation, he pointed out he is black and part Native American and has been sleeping on Denver’s streets for the past week.

He’s originally from Oregon, but recently arrived in Denver from the Grand Junction area.

Casey comes across as a jovial man, quick with a handshake who is eager to explain why he wears the hat, which is a bit hard to follow.


Based on our friendly chat, I still can’t tell if it was a dare from a friend, an expression of art, or if it’s just to grab attention from drivers who may have extra cash.

Casey calls himself an artist and a “photographer” who is traveling the country to do “good deeds” while wearing the Make America Great Again hat.  Later, after we spoke, I learned he called my station earlier asking for a news profile on his effort to spread his “good deeds.”

I asked Casey if I could direct him to any resources in town for homeless help. He didn’t seem interested, saying the homeless shelters “are too dirty” and that he makes plenty of money panhandling to cover his hunger.

His dog Jameson seemed active and healthy when I reached down to introduce myself to the little guy. Jameson had a little bowl of water next to Casey’s cart as he cooled off in a bit of shade.

I asked Casey several times if he was a Trump supporter. Each time, he would laugh, step back and repeat “I’m just an American.”

Our friendly conversation ended, and I left Casey wondering about where he and Jameson would sleep tonight as thousands of other people in Denver make the pavement their beds.

A simple bridge to the past thanks to a small town reporter

He died years before I was born, yet the words of a small town reporter give me a colorful piece of his life.

It’s a reminder for me, as a journalist, that even the most simple stories and anecdotes that I may consider inconsequential may have the potential to reverberate for someone far into the future.

After navigating the microfilm archives at New Mexico Highlands University a couple of weeks ago (with help of course), I finally found the image of my great grandfather standing before a simple footbridge he built over the Pecos River not long before he died.

Roman Lopez
Photo likely taken by Nancy Miglin who worked for the Las Vegas Optic in 1973

The image is splotchy, in black and white, yet the words describing this simple man with a simple idea are so colorful, I can almost feel the warmth of the sun that day he was visited by a reporter from the Las Vegas Optic back in 1973.

Here’s that article in full:

HEADLINE: San Jose’s oldest takes time to build a bridge

Las Vegas Optic –  July 10th, 1973

By: Nancy Miglin

He eagerly and easily maneuvers down the twisting steep path along the bank to his bridge. Then with the agility of a teenager, he climbs up the board plank ladder and steps onto the suspension bridge which he says took him about two weeks to construct.

The short, grey-haired man perches precariously against one of the cable handrails, however he seems “at home” there as when standing on the banks of the Pecos River. He points to a spot on the north bank where a garden is being tenderly cared for and where an apple orchard grows. If you look closely you can see some adobe ruins and he says he was born there 85 years ago.

Roman Lopez is the oldest resident of San Jose and has the distinction of being the village bridge builder, too. However instead of enjoying his comfortable home in the village, Roman spends his summers at a two-room house he built three years ago. Most of the time he will be found in back of the dwelling, down by the Pecos river, usually tending one of his gardens.

One of the best garden spots, he says, is down across the river on land owned by his nephew Gabriel Gallegos. Years ago, there had been an old foot-bridge across the Pecos there and if you were fleet of foot and blessed with balance, you could make it across without having to take the road which fords the river, about one mile downstream.

Roman explains that the road isn’t always reliable and when the water is high, it becomes impassable. “I’d been thinking about building a bridge for a long time,” Roman says. Then when the material became available from his son-in-law, Adolfo Blea, and help was offered by his nephew, Gabriel, his plans took shape early in May. After two weeks of steady work, the Pecos was spanned by a nearly 36-foot long cable-suspension bridge, about which Roman says, “will last longer than me.”

Roman built the bridge when the water was high, and people who come to view the structure constantly wonder how it was built without anyone getting in the water. Roman then explains how he took twine, threw it from the north to the south bank of the river, and then ran the first cables across with it. “We lost a lot of twine,” Roman admits. “That was the hardest job – to get it across at first.”

After the first two cables were secure, Roman began laying flooring boards. Stooping down to sit on the bridge, he shows how he pushed planks from one end of the bridge to the other, using the leverage of his legs and feet. He tells how his foot once got caught between two boards and how he almost fell into the swollen river.

In May, when Roman was building the structure, the Pecos, now about 10 feet below the bottom of the bridge was nearly up to the flooring. It was the most water in the river since 1904, Roman said, and it helped him decide that this was the year to build the bridge.

When the 2×4 and 2×3 planks were in place, they were fastened with crossboards. Support wires were added and two handhold cables were strung. After two weeks, the work was finished, and the first bridge he had ever built spanned the Pecos.

Roman says he has more plans for strengthening the bridge, which may include adding support beams sunk deep in the bed of the Pecos River. He plans to add more support wires and may even put chicken wire down from the hand cables to the floorboards for additional security.

Roman’s grandchildren who live nearby dash merrily across the bridge and bring their busy grandfather something to drink. Roman’s business and love for the outdoors is explained by his daughter Louise Blea who says “He was a rancher for years and just can’t stay cooped up inside.”

The old man walks confidently across his bridge back to the other side of the river giving an offering hand to those not so used to the sway of the structure.

Although he speaks just a little English, and you may speak only a little Spanish, his broad smile and nod tells all; he is proud and pleased that you have come to see his bridge.

The terror of Casa Bonita’s monkey-rat

If Cartel Barbie had a home, it would look exactly like the outer façade of Casa Bonita, with its tacky pink tower and cupcake décor.

It was inside this Mexican fiesta universe, sometime in the year 1993, I experienced a moment of great terror and embarrassment that has long lived in my consciousness since age 12 or so.

I choose to write about this incident now because I recently came across an image on Casa Bonita’s website that triggered this unfortunate memory and I believe putting this story out there will serve as a warning—a lesson.

What’s contained in this photo is – shall I put this bluntly – the image of the son of the bitch who ruined my first experience at Casa Bonita.

That’s the culprit on the left.

There it is on the left. I’m not sure if it’s a rat, a monkey or whatever, but it’s clearly some sort of mammalian creature wearing a sombrero and a vest.

To be fair, the person wearing the furry suit is very likely not the person who was wearing this outfit that horrible day back in 93.

And full disclosure – it’s possible this may not be the actual furry, however, seeing the image on Casa Bonita’s website is enough to trigger.

I must point out the furry has a tail, which is a crucial part of this story.

I give it a 95% chance this is the bastard.

Now to the story, which may bore you and may not be quite significant and worthy for such a long post, however you’re still reading at this point so let’s go down this dumb path.

Actually, let’s go up to the entrance of Black Bart’s Hideout where I had the terrible encounter with monkey-rat.

Some context: I was hopped up on sopapilla honey and soda.  I just finished a cliff diving show. I was free to roam anywhere within the Casa Bonita dimension, fueled with sugar and thrills. 

Photo taken last year. I’m pointing at the very spot where I had the encounter with the monkey-rat, based on my memory. Black Bart’s Hideout is just behind me.

As I made my way up to the mouth of the cave, there in front of me was a big tail.  

Conditioned to believe such people who wear furry costumes are willing to subject themselves to the torture of children, I grabbed that tail and yanked….hard.

The monkey-rat pivoted quickly. As its big face came into view, I put my fists in a boxer’s pose and began to lightly Muhammad Ali the furry face while laughing.   

Immediately, the furry took of his head, and to my astonishment, revealed the very small head of a very sweaty and very angry man.

With matted hair, a red face and veins bulging like tree roots on his forehead, the irate mouse/monkey/human hybrid unleashed a verbal assault just a few inches from face.

I felt spit and maybe a shower of sweat.

I broke this man.

And he broke me.

I can’t remember what was said, but I remember the words “I’M JUST TRYING TO DO MY JOB!!!” being screamed at me, over and over and over.

I ran from monkey-rat-man with absolute terror. A strangulation was imminent. 

Thankfully, I found my table next to the cliff side, but didn’t reveal the incident to my parents. I sulked.   

The cliff divers were no longer fun and I wanted out of this demented place.

And that is my story with monkey-rat.

If there is any lesson here, it’s don’t trust anybody wearing a furry suit….and DON’T touch their tail.

(In the end, I adore everything about this place and always love going back….but I hope I don’t see the monkey-rat furry again.)

How to find the joy you had when you were a kid

Confession: I still sneak a visit through toy aisles when I’m shopping for my adult life.

It’s always exciting to see what’s new in the modern toy universe as I wonder what it would be like to set that Lego kit loose from its prison of plastic and cardboard.

I rarely buy anything because I’m an adult.  I’m too old for that nonsense and it’s immature. Bills are waiting at home and I need to Swiffer my kitchen.

But wait…..I’m lying a bit here.

That inner voice that tells me you shouldn’t get that is lying too.

I still buy toys like Nerf guns, trinkets for my desk and other weird items.

These purchases usually occur at three in the morning when I’m wide awake, scrolling through my phone trying to find peace in the adult cycle of wake up/work/sleep.

Recently I decided to jump into the Harry Potter universe since I’ve never read the books. I’ve never watched the movies either.

The other morning, while finishing a chapter of the first  book (the part where Harry is shopping with Hagrid), I had a great sense of childish adventure and delight. I loved the feeling of discovering something fun and new.

After putting the book down so I could get ready for the workday, a thought occurred to me:

You become a successful adult when you find the same joy in life as you did when you were a child.

Okay, so how do you find that joy/success?

Get over your adult self:

Perhaps it’s the trauma of realizing Santa isn’t real that made us become cautious with our own imaginations.

Accept the fact that some elements of adulthood aren’t real either, as we see through advertisements and other media designed to trick us into believing joy can be found in material wealth.

Only a few people in this world can afford to buy a Lexus for Christmas, complete with a big red bow parked out front of a $1.5 million-dollar home that looks like a museum.

When we were kids, we found joy near the swing sets and sandbox. There was no price of admission or requirement of high financing.

Get over others

Those who tell you to “grow up” are people who probably yearn for their lost childhood the most.

We often behave in certain ways and sacrifice our own happiness for the approval of others and for what society expects of us.

If someone makes fun of you for obsessing over something you like, whatever that may be, that is not your problem. Their own vacuum of sadness will try to suck the fun you’re having. Ignore these people.

Take a risk

I’m not talking about jumping off a cliff here.

I’m talking about trying things you’ve been cautious about because they’re not geared for adults.

We all have that inner voice that prevents us from doing what we really want. Over the years, that voice has gained power and is fueled by fear of embarrassment and social rejection.

We are afraid to find the same joy we had when we were kids because there is a certain belief that such carefree thought is carelessness. Not so.

I’ll end this post with this great quote from Walt Disney:

“Too many people grow up. That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don’t remember what it’s like to be 12 years old.”

See you in the toy aisle!